Woman pleads guilty after striking Nicole Lagos with Tesla in Melbourne

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A Tesla owner has pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and failing to stop after crashing into a pedestrian in Melbourne, Victoria in 2022. 

Sakshi Agrawal, the owner of the Tesla, initially blamed her car’s autopilot feature for the incident, but later admitted to falsely doing so. 

The crash took place on Wattletree Road just before 6:30am on March 22, 2022, in Armadale, Melbourne, where Ms Agrawal struck nurse Nicole Lagos as she was boarding a tram. 

ABC News revealed that crash analysis showed Ms Agrawal did not slow down before hitting Ms Lagos and she was struck at 58 kilometres / hour and suffered life-threatening injuries after being thrown about 10 metres.

During the court proceedings, information showed that Ms Agrawal initially fled the scene in a state of panic but later returned. She claimed that it was dark at the time of the crash and stated that she had activated the car’s autopilot mode, believing the vehicle would handle braking. 

Ms Agrawal had then informed investigators that Ms Lagos “jumped in front of the car,” implying that the autopilot system failed to detect her in time for her to apply the brakes.

Agrawal
Ms Agrawal allegedly tried to ‘beat the tram’. Photo: ABC News.

After police further researched the incident, they discovered the autopilot feature on the Tesla was not switched on, and data revealed that Ms Agrawal sped up to 78 kilometres / hour in seconds after the crash.

Ms Lagos, who was 26 at the time of the incident, said she feared her injuries would leave her unable to find a life partner and start a family. She has now been left with permanent disabilities, which includes brain damage.

“Life without dreams is pretty grim. There’s nothing to work towards,” she said in a victims statement.

“Every time I pass a car or see a tram, it’s a reminder that this has happened to me.”

After fighting charges for two years, Ms Agrawal pled guilty to dangerous driving causing serious injury and failure to stop before her County Court trial. 

She now faces a potential maximum prison term of five years for dangerous driving and up to 10 years for failure to stop. She will be due for sentencing on May 10.

Source: ABC News.

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